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Archive for the ‘In the Production Kitchen’ Category

Last month, in our kitchen tour post, we showed you photos of Justin making rhubarb compote.  We didn’t identify it as such at the time, but we can tell you now: it was rhubarb compote and it was delicious.  It was so delicious that we snuck a few jars out of the R&D kitchen and took them down to Zingerman’s with us for a tasting we were scheduled to host.  We tasted our way through an array of classic American Spoon Preserves paired with Zingerman’s favorites and then served our rhubarb compote as the very last course, with a spoonful of whipped cream and a little square of graham cracker.  It was a big hit.  So big that the evening ended with one resounding request:  more rhubarb compote, please.

So we came home, scaled up the recipe, and bought all the local rhubarb we could find.  Then our kitchen staff got to work.  April, Jessica and Paul chopped up all the lovely red and green stalks, macerated the chopped chunks with sugar to soften and sweeten them, simmered the chunks and their pretty pink syrup gently in our copper kettles, and filled jars — 500 of them — with more rhubarb compote.

We’re happy to announce that Rhubarb Compote is now available in our retail stores. When you visit this summer, make sure you sample it on our tasting table.  Each jar is filled with soft, falling-apart chunks of  delightfully tart rhubarb preserved in a syrup that barely whispers of sweetness.   This compote is best served simply — with freshly whipped cream, spooned over Greek yogurt or ice cream, or my favorite way:  with nothing more than a spoon.

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We gave a kitchen tour on Wednesday.   We hope to figure out a way to give tours more regularly, but until then, here’s what you missed.
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If you’d stepped into American Spoon’s kitchen last week, you would have been enveloped in the soft, delicate perfume of 5000 pounds of freshly picked Bartlett pears, spread out across the room in shallow trays to ripen to a fragrant golden yellow. And while you were busy breathing in that deliciously sweet scent and imagining some sort of  idyllic orchard scene, a far more practical person might have handed you a paring knife and set you to chopping, because 5000 pounds of pears demand a bit of attention.
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Picture a peach.  Imagine the soft blush of its fuzzy skin, the sweet freshness of its scent, and the drippy juiciness of its melting flesh.  Now picture 35,000 pounds of those blushing little beauties and imagine peeling and pitting each one.  By hand.
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